Susie Blake took to the Apollo Victoria stage last Thursday to entertain an auditorium packed with celebs and theatregoers as teacher-turned-spin doctor Madame Morrible in Wicked. The former Coronation Street star replaced Miriam Margolyes in the role, and was treated to a rapturous standing ovation at the curtain call.
Arriving at the after-show party, Blake was visibly flustered by the attention surrounding the evening, but took time to speak to Official London Theatre. "Tonight was fun because everybody was up for it; the audience was up for it," she said, heaping praise on both her fellow performers and the assembled theatregoers.
Blake went on to confirm that it did not take a lot of persuading for her to take on the role. In fact, it was a part she had first set her sights on during a trip to New York when the Broadway production of Wicked was still previewing. Having watched the show with her cousin Hayley Mills, both actresses had the same thought: "We both said 'What's the part for us? Madame Morrible.' Here I am doing it. Fantastic!"
Nigel Planer, who previously worked with Blake on the pilot for sitcom Wake Up! With Libby And Jonathon, was full of praise for his new co-star. "She's fantastic and completely different from Miriam Margolyes," he said. "[She takes] a totally different approach, which is obviously really exciting for all of us because suddenly we're doing it all different. It keeps you on your toes. That's one of the advantages of these long runs, because there's always somebody new on there's always something new happening."
As the expected announcement of Wicked recasting draws closer, Planer confirmed that he was enjoying playing the wonderful Wizard of Oz so much, he was not intending to leave the production in the foreseeable future.